Northallerton is a vibrant market town within easy reach of Darlington by car or by train. It is just one stop south on the East Coast mainline.
It has a reputation as being among the wealthiest towns in the area, serving a very affluent agricultural area. You will find more luxury 4x4s and prestige cars parked in Northallerton High Street than in most other small towns around Darlington. This wealth, as you would expect, has led to Northallerton having a range of interesting and high quality shops and cafes, making for an excellent day out for the discerning shopper.
North Yorkshire High Street Icons
The town does not have any specific tourist attractions but does have two North Yorkshire High Street icons – Lewis and Cooper, a gourmet grocery shop, famed for its huge range of exotic food and drink, and Bettys Tea Rooms, a must for the well-heeled in search of sustenance and a sit down. Bettys Yorkshire Fat Rascals are the cake of choice for many but for those looking for a more substantial meal, the Slow-Cooked Steak Pie is to die for.
But before we think of food, we must focus on shopping that we have actually come for. Barkers department store is the largest retailer in the town. It is a traditional, family run business offering a thoroughly modern range of fashion, beauty and homeware. This is the place for designer brands for both men and women, but also where wealthy famers come to purchase their Sunday best. From tweed jackets to wedding hats, comfy slippers to cravats, you will find them all here. And if you are thinking of food again, there are also two excellent cafés on the premises.
Northallerton Town Hall
Back on the High Street, Northallerton Town Hall is the work of the architect John Ross of Feethams in Darlington. He was also responsible for much of the work on the homes of weathy Quakers in Darlington as well as his largest commission, Grey Towers mansion at Nunthorpe.
The town hall is often open for sale days for various charities and organisation, giving an opportunity for a look around inside. There are interesting shops around the outside of the building including a small independent jeweller together with an art gallery.
Northallerton for Photography
Turning to the ‘photos’ in the title of this article, head to Grovers at the northern end of the High Street and you will find a surprisingly comprehensive range of cameras, photographic equipment and telescopes for such as small town. Grovers is a very husband-friendly oasis for a break from fashion shopping. Upstairs Grovers have more to offer, with a traditional toy shop to keep younger members of the family entertained.
The photography does not stop at here however. At the southern end of the High Street you will find Keith Sanderson Cameras while in the centre of town is Maxwells, an independent electrical retailer offering cameras as well as hi-fi and surround sound demo rooms, making it another excellent retreat for those less inclined to fashion shopping.
For the photographer in need of inspiration, the Joe Cornish Gallery in Zetland Street shows the North Yorkshire landscape at its very best, with crisp winter mornings and stunning sunsets captured expertly by Joe and an ever-changing range of fellow photographers who exhibit within the gallery. Again the gallery has a very pleasant café where you can enjoy excellent coffee while surrounded by fine art.
There are many more independent shops and interesting retails to explore in Northallerton – a cycling shop, vinyl record shop and a pet shop opposite the Joe Corning Gallery in Zetland Street to highlight just three. Do let us know your favourites by leaving a comment below.